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March for Our Lives Albany

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March for Our Lives Albany
File:March For Our Lives Albany, March 24, 2018.jpg
DateMarch 24, 2018
VenueNew York State Capitol
LocationWest Capitol Park, Albany NY
TypeProtest March Activism
Organized byLocal Capital District high school students

March for Our Lives Albany was a protest that occurred in the New York State capital of Albany, New York on March 24, 2018. This local demonstration was a sister march of the larger March for Our Lives, held in the United States capital of Washington, D.C.. The starting point of the march was at West Capitol Park, Protesters marching around the New York State Capitol Building. The march continued from Swan Street onto Washington Avenue and State Street in front of the capitol.[1] The attendance was at an estimated 5,000.[2][3][4][5][6] The March was the largest demonstration in the state capital since a crowd of 7,000 marched on Washington Avenue on January 21, 2017 to protest president Donald Trump.[7]

News Coverage[edit | edit source]

From Schenectady based newspaper The Daily Gazette, " Thousands of people crowded the park outside the state Capitol on Saturday for Albany’s portion of the nationwide March For Our Lives movement. Though organized by and well attended by students, the crowd spanned all generations, from babies in strollers to grannies in wheelchairs. Those older than 18 outnumbered those younger. The event was civil but not sedate — speakers drew roars of approval with their denunciations of the National Rifle Association but spoke with reasoned passion more than hatred. The hundreds and hundreds of rally signs followed the same tone. After hearing from students and activists and politicians, they marched a lap around the Capitol, chanting slogans adapted from other causes. No counter demonstrators were seen and police presence was limited to traffic control."[8]

From local newspaper The Saratogian, " The Albany march was the result of the combined efforts of students from across the Capital Region in conjunction with Moms Demand Action. Hundreds of signs, with messages ranging from “Fire Politicians, Not Guns,” to “Resist, Enough,” to “Thoughts and Prayers Are Not Enough,” were toted by protesters in Albany on Saturday, as the large but peaceful group gathered to hear speeches from student organizers, members of Moms Demand Action and local lawmakers and politicians, including Patricia Fahey, Phil Steck, and Paul Tonko."

Background[edit | edit source]

March for Our Lives was a student-led demonstration in support of tighter gun control that took place on March 24, 2018, in Washington, D.C., with over 800 sibling events throughout the United States and around the world. Student organizers from Never Again MSD planned the march in collaboration with the nonprofit organization Everytown for Gun Safety. The event followed the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, which was described by many media outlets as a possible tipping point for gun control legislation.

Notable Attendees, speakers, and political organizers included US Congressman Paul Tonko, and State Assemblywoman Pat Fahy.[9] As well as politicians, the march was organized and headed by Capital District high school students.[10] The March was also supported by groups such as New Yorkers Against Gun Violence[11][12]

Among those who addressed the crowd was a retired teacher from Broward County, Florida who taught just 6 miles from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.[13]

The Sunday before the March, Congressman Paul Tonko, and State assemblyman Phil Steck, who both would later speak at the march, hosted a two hour-long Congressional town hall on gun violence and school shootings, specifically for students to attend. The event was located at Shaker High School, with an estimated turnout of about 150 people. Students asked Tonko what measures he would take to make schools safer, and to reduce shootings. Students also gave Tonko their thoughts, feelings, and suggestions on the topic.[14][15]

Protesters urged for universal background checks on all gun and ammunition sales, raising the federal age of gun ownership and possession to the age of 21, closing of the gun show loophole, taking firearms away from all classes of domestic abusers[16], and a ban on the sale of high-capacity magazines in New York State. Turnout was estimated to be between 1.2 to 2 million people in the United States, and 5,000 people in Albany, making it one of the largest protests in American history.

Actions taken as a result[edit | edit source]

After the march, the New York Sate legislature passed a bill banning all domestic abusers from purchasing or possessing firearms. New York State already prohibits people convicted of felony domestic violence offenses from possessing firearms, and this bill expands the restrictions to include misdemeanor convictions.[17]

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, representing NY's 21st district, held a town hall, taking tough questions on gun violence, including her viewpoints on it, and what actions she will take.[18]

Speakers at the beginning of the march spoke about the National School Walkouts that have been organized, bringing attention to the April 20th walkout.[19]

Organizers were encouraging gun rights supporters to bring unloaded rifles to rallies at state capitols across the U.S. the weekend of April 14.[20] Those counter-protesters are going to rally on the same day as March for Science 2018, which has an event scheduled in Albany that day as well.[21][22]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "NY March For Our Lives Events on March 24". New Yorkers Against Gun Violence. 2018-03-14. Retrieved 2018-04-09.
  2. "Over 5,000 gather for Albany 'March for Our Lives' event". WNYT NewsChannel 13. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  3. "Thousands attend 'March for Our Lives' rally in Albany". Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  4. "Crowds in Albany, Cobleskill rally for gun contol". The Daily Gazette. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  5. "'March For Our Lives' in Albany". Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  6. "March for Our Lives: Thousands in Upstate NY rally against gun violence (photos, videos)". NewYorkUpstate.com. Retrieved 2018-04-13.
  7. "Crowd of 7,000 marches in Albany". Times Union. Retrieved 2018-04-01.
  8. "Capital Region students rally in DC, Albany". The Daily Gazette. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  9. "'March For Our Lives' in Albany". Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  10. "Capital Region teens join March for Our Lives in Albany and D.C." Times Union. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  11. "NY March For Our Lives Events on March 24". New Yorkers Against Gun Violence. 2018-03-14. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  12. "March for Our Lives in Albany - The Sanctuary for Independent Media". The Sanctuary for Independent Media. Retrieved 2018-04-10.
  13. "'March For Our Lives' in Albany". Retrieved 2018-04-13.
  14. "Tonko hosts townhall on gun violence at Shaker High". Times Union. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  15. Ferguson, Tim (2018-03-18). "Congressman Tonko meets with local students to discuss gun violence, walkouts". WTEN. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  16. "How New York plans to take guns from domestic abusers". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2018-04-10.
  17. "New York bans all domestic abusers from purchasing or possessing firearms". Retrieved 2018-04-09.
  18. Yonkunas, Rachel (2018-04-05). "Stefanik holds town hall meeting, answers tough questions". WTEN. Retrieved 2018-04-09.
  19. "With more walkouts coming, discipline looms". The Daily Gazette. Retrieved 2018-04-10.
  20. "Gun rights supporters: Bring your unloaded rifle to rallies". WNYT NewsChannel 13. Retrieved 2018-04-12.
  21. DeMola, Pete (2018-04-11). "Pro-gun rally scheduled for weekend". Sun Community News & Printing. Retrieved 2018-04-14.
  22. "Science in politics, scientists in bars, and another March for Science in Albany". All Over Albany. Retrieved 2018-04-14.


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